The relationship between consumers and businesses has changed. Traditional marketing and PR tactics no long generate the results we’re looking for and consumers see right through the hard sell. As a result, we need to change the way we communicate to align with how our audience communicates.
With the increased use of social media, there is no longer a separation between consumer and company. We can interact directly with our audience, which gives us a powerful opportunity to build an engaging and genuine relationship. Building a strong relationship takes time and effort. A great place to start is by creating valuable social media messages. Here are a few tips to help you begin the conversation with your audience.
1. Be authentic. Show your followers that you’re human. Don’t underestimate your audience’s desire to connect in a personal and authentic way. Remember that the members of your audience are human and they respond to a genuine voice.
2. Don’t overly promote yourself. While your ultimate goal is to promote yourself or your business, your audience will lose interest in you quickly if it’s always about you. Posting about current events, news or what’s happening in your industry will keep your audience interested.
3. Share high quality content. Great engagement starts with great content. Share content in a variety of forms like blog posts, articles, videos and photos. Content that your audience finds useful or entertaining will generate more likes and comments than content that is low quality or not tailored to your audience.
4. Create timely content and engagement. Social media runs on a 24/7 cycle. To increase engagement on time sensitive content, you must plan ahead and stay active. Featuring posts for national holidays or large events are great ways to make your messages timely. Also watch for current events and news stories that you can share with your audience to increase your level of engagement.
5. Use visuals to boost your posts. Whether you’re sharing photos, infographics, graphics or videos, you have a greater chance of catching your audience’s eye if you incorporate some type of visual component. According to research published by Media Blog, adding an image to a Tweet boosted retweets by 35 percent. Posting a photo on Facebook received 87 percent more engagement, according to research by eMarketer.
6. Be a valuable resource. Give your audience the information and resources it wants. Position yourself as a reliable and approachable source in your industry. Create and share content that will not only entertain your audience, but give them a reason to continue following you.
7. Know your social media channel. Not understanding the social media norms and etiquette can be crippling. For example, LinkedIn focuses on providing a professional, business centered experience, while Facebook offers a more relaxed and personal platform. With this in mind, posting family photos or personal content would be acceptable on Facebook, but less suitable for LinkedIn.
8. Highlight your strengths and unique qualities. Emphasize what sets you apart and makes you different from other people or businesses. Social media has created the perfect environment to show your audience exactly why they should be interested in you. If you have a unique quality that sets you apart from others in your industry, tailor your messages to highlight this quality and explain why it is beneficial to your audience.
9. Understand your goal to focus your message. Before you start generating and sharing content, understand your main goal. Whether your objective is to increase your following, boost your revenue or become a leader in your industry, understanding why you are using social media will help you focus on how you should be using it.
10. Numbers don’t lie. Use analytics to see what is working for you and where you can improve. Analytics can give you a clear picture of how you’re performing across social media channels. See what content gives you the best levels of engagement and continue to adapt your strategy.
Social media has given us the opportunity to develop two-way communication with our target audience. Begin communicating with your audience by creating engaging social media messages that highlight your business, while providing value to your followers.